In a highly competitive match in Group E, Milan beat Zagreb 3-1, winning thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sailemaker and Tommaso Pobiga.
After an unconvincing victory over Sampdoria, Stefano Pioli made only one change in Milan’s starting line-up. In the attacking midfield, Brahim Diaz took charge as the number ten, and Olivier Giroud returned to his usual position in the center of the attack.
In the aftermath of their shock win over Chelsea, Zagreb is back in a 3-5-2 formation. The squad saw Luka Ivanosic in the attacking midfield, while fellow Croatian international Mislav Orsic initially started as a left-wing striker.
– AC Milan September 14, 2022
Less than a minute into the match, Milan almost opened the scoring when Sandro Tonali played a good ball over the Zagreb defense line. Olivier Giroud hit a shot from close range, but the striker was unable to direct it into the net.
As the match progressed, Zagreb retained the wing-back, allowing Milan to control the ball while the guests sat. The Croatians created quite a few chances, including one that forced Mike Minyan to make a save to dive into the near post, but Rossoneri The defense was more than capable of handling their efforts.
Later, Orsic almost paid the landowners for not taking advantage of their opportunities. He made a sharp cut around Calabria to create space and launched a curling effort on goal, but he flew away from the far post.
Minutes before the end of the first half whistle, Milan finally found the hole they needed. The central defender, Josep Sutalo, attacked Rafael Liao inside the penalty area, and the referee did not hesitate to point to the penalty point. The challenge was rather weak, but the VAR did not intervene, and Giroud took the penalty with ease. Milan went into the dressing room somewhat lucky, but 1-0 up.
– AC Milan September 14, 2022
the other half
After a disappointing first half, Milan came out strong. Just a minute into the second 45 minutes, Leao drove the ball into the penalty area and launched a floating cross pass towards Alexis Saelemaekers. The Belgian somehow made it to his head, beating Dominic Lovakovic in the net and raising the score to 2-0.
However, Zagreb quickly returned to the match. Orcic and Petkovic combined to have two great players in the penalty area, and the former converted easily from close range, scoring his ninth goal in as many matches.
With the match back in competition, Zagreb continued to press for a tie. Despite winning the battle for possession, the Rossoneri He struggled to contain Orcic and Petkovic, whose strong creativity raised questions on the defensive line.
Stefano Pioli eventually removed Giroud and Sandro Tonali, and the substitutes were able to see the match. 15 minutes before the end of the match, Theo Hernandez found Boubiga in the penalty area, and the substitute sent an evil shot, confirming the victory of the hosts.